Catherine’s mind was similar to the tattered streets of her tiny home: both were restless and in constant motion. She was the daughter of a man who was of decent standing, and she was therefore decent. Nothing more, nothing less. She focused most of her time on finding another that suited her standing. He too must be “decent” and, if nothing else, able to provide for her. Her strong will disqualified her for a cordial marriage, and so she spent her days gazing out a window, staring at the leafy green trees. With the rain came growth, crops, food, and income, but for Catherine, it brought the Seeps. The Seeps were three brothers, though their last name was all that seemed to connect them. They had the same mother but beyond that, they could not have been more different.
I am Catherine’s sister Hannah, and I am obliged to tell the story in remembrance of what the Seeps brought to her in the months of rain and gloom and why she had an interest in them. This is also a warning to never wander too far into the fog and gloom, even if there is something of interest on the other side.
The first observation one might have had of the Seeps is that they almost seemed to blend into their surroundings. They wore muted colors and possessed the same qualities of a mist or fog that floods over farmland. Beyond their initial appearance, there were still intense differences in their actual personalities. This was what attracted Catherine to the Seeps. As is accustomed to this culture, men must court ladies before proposing marriage. The oldest, William Seep, was introduced into Catherine’s life and he was able to further influence it in ways that seemed almost supernatural. He was charming and charismatic, similar in the way that most wealthy men of the time assumed they could lure attractive young to run away with them. The Seeps seemed to be a contradiction, and because William was so reserved it was surprising to see his intense control over Catherine. Something so vague and cold but with the ability to possess my sister was something I could never understand.
I was the one that chased after warmth and fragrances that intoxicate but each of the Seeps offered something new. Gerard was the sweet and innocent youngest brother. He had the fairest skin and when the snow came in the later months, his complexion was similar to the white dust of the sky. Arthur, the middle brother, was honest, though, and he brought breath and life into our home.
As I said, my sister had a willful personality, but gradually seemed to be watered down and controlled by this man–William. Her delicate face was always something of a constant grace and she had a dainty smile. William overpowered that, not with handsome looks, but intense charisma. This charisma, however, sobered me more than any refrain from drink ever had in my life. Arthur seemed to notice my disdain and held a similar opinion of the couple. I tried to interact and see what this trio of brothers was doing in our city and why they seemed so interested in our family. I was well aware that while courting my sister was reasonable, the way these men, particularly William, went about it reeked of deception.
My sister eventually married William. Arthur’s heart towards their relationship as well as mine was dismayed; I sensed a warning from him that Catherine was not safe. If only I had heeded these warnings. Although she appeared to be in love with William there was a timid fear behind her eyes as if he had gotten to the root of her and she knew it. His charisma came with a darkness that lured her in and now she was controlled by him. It was not that he was unkind to her, or that he ever hurt her, it was that she became what he was. There was no difference, she was no longer my sister, she was a Seep. And Seeps seem to creep around the Earth with a ghostly presence.
The seasons were again changing and by the time of her firstborn child, we were deep into spring. The whole family seemed to be withering even though spring brought the idea of life. Arthur was the only one who remained untainted by the change of the seasons. He almost seemed to flourish with the effects the spring rain had on the Earth. With spring came new life, but sadly that also meant things had to die for something else to take their place. My enchanted sister lost her life while giving birth to Joy. The Seeps then seemed to evaporate from the earth. The loss of my sister only further magnified the fog William lived in and he seemed unable to navigate the troubling situation of a child and left her with me. I then took care of the babe and never let the Seeps come near Joy again. Their odd, bewitching souls were forgotten and seemed to evaporate from the Earth altogether.
My sister’s story shows the importance of making sure that you are aware of what is happening while the seasons of life are changing. Are you growing? Are the people around you beneficial to your wellbeing and prosperity? Although she was wild and found love in a person of mystery, I believe there was a way for her to not be overtaken by the darkness of a soul in William and find someone that intertwined with her heart. I share this to remind you to find what makes your world grow and have a relationship that lasts all the seasons of your life.
Photo Credits: My Campbell River Now